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I'm looking for a word that describes a photo of food/meal that is included in a recipe but it is not a real photo of the food.

I found "illustrative photo" next to some pictures on reuters.com and Google nGrams says this collocation exits but COCA found only 1 hit.

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You want a word that describes the food but it is not the real photo of that food. Do you mean that if the recipe is of making a 'cake' but you show a photo of some cake which is not the one that is the result of the recipe?

If yes, the word 'illustrative' is okay.

illustrative - serving to demonstrate

So, if you put an illustrative image/photo of a cake which is not the same as a result of that recipe but gives an idea how does it look, it's okay!

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    You got it exactly right! Thanks a million cause you saved the day again, Maulik!
    – The Cook
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 8:50

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